Courvoisier has been making a real splash in the media lately. With their innovative Courvoisier Art Collective and the soon to be released 21 year old spirit, they’re out to prove that the cognac can be enjoyed by more than just Napoleon and Busta Rhymes.
At an event tailored to introduce 20-somethings in media to the approachable brand of cognac; we were introduced to the brand’s Exclusive, the 12 year old and the XO. Held in the sleek and urban barchef, we were handed what would be our initial impression of the cognac, a deliciously savory punch (see recipe below) while we were escorted to a VIP section of the bar. As we mingled with the others present for the tasting, we were served up some of the succulent snacks the bar features on it’s menu. Among the many tasty morsels we were served my favourite: a mushroom and roasted squash pizza with white truffle oil and caramelized onions.
Our fabulous guides, Pierre Szersnovicz and his lovely wife, travelled all the way from Jarnac, France to provide us with a truly engaging and interactive tasting experience. For each of the three cognacs we sampled we participated in a discovery of the layered aromas and flavours.
Courvoisier 12 Year Old
$89.95 for 750mL bottle at the LCBO
In a fun jeu du devinettes, we were instructed to place a cinnamon stick under our nose and take a few whiffs. We were then instructed to plug our nose and place the stick in our mouths to demonstrate that about 75% of what we taste is aroma. As an avid whiskey drinker, I could easily see that this cognac was developed as a means to appeal to those like myself. The initial notes were floral and spicy but there was also some ginger, vanilla and almond. The finish was well-rounded. This spirit could easily be enjoyed neat, or on the rocks with a splash of ginger ale.
Courvoisier Exclusif VSOP Cognac
$69.95 for a 750mL bottle at the LCBO
We were given a leather case which held tiny numbered bottles which we were told would be a part of a little guessing game. Our guesses weren’t far from the actual scents and we picked up on the plum, coffee and Crème brûlée aromas; the finish quite smooth and mellow. This particular cognac is relatively new and is much more modern in its intended purpose in punches and for mixing extravagant cocktails.
Courvoisier XO Cognac
$219.95 for a 750mL bottle at the LCBO
The last three “mystery scents” had us guessing caramel, vanilla, orange peel, and floral aromas; indicative of what is found in the spirit. The XO, my favourite, was very smooth with a fruity flavour and long finish. After the initial tasting we were given some Wasabi Beans to cleanse our palettes and really open up our senses to experience all of the intricate flavour nodes.
Courvoisier has dubbed this the ‘summer of punch’ with delicious mixes that compliment rather than mask the taste of this classic and refined cognac. While summer may be coming to an end there is no better time than the present to enjoy some of their delicious suggestions at covoisier.com or experiment with some of your own tantalizing creations! Courtney and I were thinking spiked hot apple cider with the Exclusif and a cinnamon stick to finish, served at our ‘Very Courvoisier Christmas Party’ this year, but until then why don’t you try the lip-smacking Ginger Crush Punch:
• 9 parts Courvoisier VSOP Exclusif cognac
• 19 parts apple juice
• 10 parts ginger beer
• 2 parts lime juice
• 10 slices of cucumbers
Add the freshly cut lime and cucumber into your punch bowl and then build in the remaining ingredients stirring as you go. Serve in freshly iced glasses garnished with cucumber slices.
Words and pictures by Kate Masewich
Every year the boozehound within us all uses TIFF as an excuse to go out, get ridiculous and hope nobody captures it on camera (although it can be difficult to avoid the club’s paparazzi).
Here’s our guide to where you should be headed to see, be seen and get silly this coming Film Fest:
Bovine Sex Club - One of our fave TIFF haunts, these kids always have some rad stuff lined up for the licenced nights.
Wrongbar – This place always has something different up their sleeves. Be sure to go tonight especially!
Cobra - Another TIFF staple, these dudes are hitting hard with a line up of international super star club nights (**doors at 10 both nights)
Cheval - This other local hot spot is featuring a major night with “Blond:Ish”. Way too sweet to miss!
The Drake Hotel – Always a good place to go to stargaze, the Drake is often hit by celebs looking to get out of the “spotlight” of the known TIFF regions (at least, that’s what they claim).
WHERE TO GO and WHAT TO DO
Thursday September 8 2011: THE REAL FREQUENCY | New North TIFF Party (@Wrongbar)
Featuring special guest performances by Toronto’s finest underground rising stars of hip hop featuring: DJ P-Plus + Special Guest Performances by MC’s from the New North compilation album.
Hosted by Arcee.
$10 with complimentary New North CD before 11PM
THE NEW NORTH LP Features Emcees: Shad, JD Era, Kardinal Offishall, Tona, Rich Kidd, Shaun Boothe, King Reign, among others. Vocalists: Ayah, Lokz, Andreena Mill, T.R.A.C.K.S., & Kim Davis.
DJs for the night: DJ Dopey, DJ Grouch, & DJ Riccachet.
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 9TH : Mondo LaBruce TIFF Party (@The Bovine)
Hosted by Bruce LaBruce
Performances by Denata
DJS: BRUCE LABRUCE, TRAVIS X BALLER, KEVIN H (DEAD COPS of VILE)
Special Appearance by MISTRESS F of VILE
Friday September 9 2011: Embrace & Underdog present (@Wrongbar)
GALAPAGOS // 013
$10 Advance Tickets
Tickets on sale at Rotate This and Soundscapes and online at http://www.ticketweb.ca/
Saturday 10th September 2011: THE NEW DISCO TIFF SERIES Presents (@Cobra)
Alongside DJ AADIL | RASEK, Hosted By SetinStyle
Sunday September 11 2011: Blond:ish(@Cheval)
Back Room: Selection of Canadian Punk and Alt. movies (Curated by Ambrose Roche and Cam Carpenter of NxNe Film Festival)
Front Room: DJ VANIA
Band: A Primitive Evolution
Thursday September 15 2011 Hi-Scores Recording Library Presents ( @ The Drake)
CFCF w/ Bishop Morocco/Doldrums +more!
Saturday 17th September 2011: THE NEW DISCO TIFF SERIES Presents (@Cobra)
THOMAS GOLD (Germany)
Alongside DJ AADIL | RASEK, Hosted By SetinStyle
Follow our twitter for the online scavenger hunt using the hashtag #BumpinBumpinTO for your chance to win.
We’ll be giving guestlist for you +1, and it will be good until midnight (although you’ll probably want to get there sooner)
Our buddies over at DK are throwing down one of their biggest shows yet, featuring Rittz (Yelawolf’s right hand), Notes to Self, Fundament and Moses.
In honour of this edition of Droppin’ Knowledge, DJ James Redi has made an exclusive mixtape and is letting us link you all up with it.
Come out to The Rivoli this Friday (September 2nd) for some bangin’ music and a chance to win free concert tickets!
Premium Plus: Toronto Meets Slumerica.
Featuring sounds by Rittz|Notes To Self|Fundament|Tre Leji|Yelawolf|Jake Bluez|Carlito and more, enjoying the pre-show mix.
This Sunday Slapback Media presents a very special daytime concert series at Analogue Galery.
The first occurrence of the series will be held August 28th from noon to 5pm on the quaint backyard patio of the beautiful Analogue Gallery at 673 Queen St. West and will feature raw, acoustic performances by Akira Alemany & Juan Carlos Rivas of Modernbodys Moderngirls, Revelstoke, Mad Ones, Jeff Pinto of Hands and Teeth and many more! The event is all ages (BYOB for those 19+) and will have delicious food curtosey of Murray’s Sandwiches for all. For full event details head over to the event page on facebook and be sure to like Slapback Media for info on all their exciting shows and events.
I had the pleasure of sharing some of Greg’s Ice Cream from White Squirrel while chatting with Andrew Seale, the singer song-writer known as Revelstoke (performing tomorrow) about his approach to song writing, his album Esprit d’Escalier and his eagerness to work on new material.
Occupying the unique space in which a troubadour would cross paths with a one-man band, Andrew is no stranger to the music scene. He’s written for various publications as a music journalist and even provides the write-ups for the Live in Bellwoods video series, but it wasn’t until recent years that he has really been able bring his ubiquitous yet intimate soundscapes to a pleasing place. “In last like three years I came across a bunch of different instruments and really worked on them – the banjo is a more recent thing too but I somehow always loved and would mess around on when I had the opportunity. I just want to make music that’s interesting to me, that I’d like to listen to you know?”
For the album Esprit d’Escalier, a lo-fi DIY bedroom project, Andrew explains “It was all done by me, I had a buddy help out with a lot of the mastering stuff but he didn’t really have any expertise in it, he was more just another set of ears.” While this may have been his first recorded effort, he modestly explains that he’s hardly new to the process. “I been playing guitar shitily for 8 years or something like that and I’ve been maybe recording for about that time, so I’ve been playing around with software. [For the album] It was the first time I sat down and played and recorded every instrument and mic’d them what I thought was properly. There was really no input. There was lots of people to turn to but I was stubborn.”
Although his album was just recently released, Andrew explains that the songs contained feel years old to him and he anxiously awaits working on new material that is already bubbling to the creative surface. “I plan on doing something in the fall, kind of like a split between two tracks I’ve been working on. It’s two contrasting tracks one is really beachy and the other one kind of follows the same theme but it’s more watlzy; they’re just completely different tracks. I want to create different sounds, that’s what I want to do and it’s why I like doing it on my own.”
Head over to his BandCamp page (revelstoke.bandcamp.com) and grab a copy of his incredibly moving 7-track album Esprit d’Escalier for free! If you didn’t have the pleasure of watching him perform alongside Allie Hughes, Rouge and Nash at the Horseshoe here’s your chance! Just make your way over to the gallery tomorrow to check him, and the rest of the fantastic artists out, you won’t be disappointed.
Words by Kate Masewich
Photos of Revelstoke © Courtney Lee Photography 2011
PinkMafia has teamed up with one of Toronto’s premier underground hip hop events, Droppin’ Knowledge, to do a make-you-want-it giveaway.
We’ll be giving away 2 FREE TICKETS to J. Cole‘s performance at the the Sound Academy on September 3rd.
Come to Droppin’ Knowledge at the Rivoli on September 2nd for your chance to win!!
Hosted by recent Remix Projekt grad Double X, and industry staple DJ James Redi it’s sure to packed with rad musicians both on stage and in the audience.
Think good beats, good people and cheap(ish) drinks. Not an event to be missed.
CLICK HERE for more information about the September edition of Droppin’ Knowledge, who’s performing and the like.
The New Cities – Casting for Newest Video!
Want to have a chance to be forever immortalized on TV and the internet via a music video? Always wanted to be on the set and see how all the magic is made?
These handsome men are looking for a lot of people to come take part in their next video shoot. They need a big audience, as well as a few ladies who know their way around a fashion runway.
They`re shooting the newest video next Monday the 22nd of August and are looking for:
1. Fashion Show audience – you could be a TNC uber-fan, an aspiring actor/actress, or a bartender with a day off… we just want you to dress like you could be in the audience at a super obnoxious, super hot fashion show. Easy right? All ages, all ethnicities welcome!
2. Model types – Here’s your chance to channel your inner Kate Moss. Or Tyra. Or Giselle. Think you can walk the walk? Now’s your chance to prove it! Females only for this category please. All ethnicities, 18-25 preferred.
We need lots of fans, a full fashionista audience and models to be in the vid for their next single. Must be avail in Toronto Aug. 22 – send your name, pic, age and contact info to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Oh, and if you are selected, you’ll need to bring with you some signed legal mumbo so the band can legally use your awesome performance in the video. And if you’re under 18, your parents will need to sign it on your behalf. It’ll all get explained once you send in your info to the above!
making web videos for fun = an awesome hobby. making web videos for fun, prizes*, and glory? = an awesome hobby — only better.
you may have noticed by now that vitaminwater kind of loves film.
we don’t have the capacity to produce a world class film festival like the ones mentioned above since the bulk of our energy goes into, ya know, vitaminwater.
that said, we have a pretty bumping online community, and we know for a fact that a lot of you love film too. we’ve also noticed that some of you create your own films from time to time (that’s right, we’ve seen your youtube channels!)
hence, we decided to create the vitaminwater mini film challenge.
here’s how to enter:
- create a 1-2 minute long web-based mini film to creatively show us how you enjoy vitaminwater.
- include within the video at least one image of a vitaminwater bottle (hand drawn is fine, if you’ve got the skills!)
- post your video to youtube, vimeo, your own blog or any other video hosting service you like to use.
- drop the link to your masterpiece in our comments section below. (full submission guidelines can be viewed here)
you have until august the 26th to enter. at that point, our panel of judges will select one winner and two semi-finalists, who will each receive a prize of $100.
to help inspire you, we’ll be posting a series of (hi-fi versions of) the type of video we’re looking for on our facebook page. you can see all 8 of them on our youtube channel now!
this 60 second spot by josh soskin, “treasure” is one of our favourites (and with good reason! who doesn’t love mermaids?).
feel free to get at us in the comment section with any questions, comments, or requests for steven speilberg’s phone number. we don’t have it (and wouldn’t be allowed to give it out even if we did), but appreciate that kind of moxie.
* rules and regulations: no purchase necessary. open to legal residents of canada, excluding quebec, who are of the age of majoirty at the time of entry. prizes: one (1) grand prize of $750 cad and two (2) secondary prizes each consisting of $100.00 cdn. contest opens on 08/02/11 at 12:00:01 a.m. et and ends on 08/26/11 at 11:59:59 p.m. et. see full rules for all details. limit one (1) entry per person. for full official contest rules, judging criteria and prize description, visit http://www.vitaminwatercanada.ca/blog/video-only-better-contest-official-rules
words by lauren
Meet Bree Williamson.
Born and raised in Toronto, she planned to pursue a career in business, psychology or women’s studies (She has a B Sc. from U of T). Devotng her time to community service played a key role in her life, and among other causes, she acted as a Planned Parenthood advocate at a Toronto organization for teens in need of sexual-health counseling. While her philanthropic career became a major part of her life, the decision to pursue a (possibly) stale career was not. Thus, she pursued her acting career and it began to flourish; among her roles she can count Mutant X and Nikita as 2 shows she had as a jump off point.
1. What is your dream of happiness?
A fridge with a pinkberry dispenser. I mean world peace.
2. Blonde or Brunette?
How much does it pay?
3. What is the quality you like most in a person?
Loyalty, kindness and a nice pair of breasts
4. What do you fear most?
A Michael Bay type Armageddon with brain eating zombies breaking down my door … And spiders
5. 808s or 909s?
I failed hipster in high school
6. What’s your biggest regret?
Eating laffy taffy last night for dinner
7. What’s your fav bar or club in the world?
My apartment. I even set up a velvet rope.
8. What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
9. What are the 3 musicians dead or alive you’d like to see perform?
Raffi, Stevie Nicks and Kelly Clarkson. All in the same show.
10. What is your favorite decade in music?
the 2030s are going to be awesome
11. If you had to choose, would you rather go blind or deaf and why?
I already have selective hearing.
12. How old is too old?
Anything over 6000 years. It’s against God’s law.
13. Where do you see yourself in 15 years?
I’ll be patently waiting for lollapalooza 2031.
14. Who’s your hero?
I have batman on a retainer, but I wouldn’t say he was “mine.”
15. What’s your favourite color?
What color is that pattern on the gucci bags? I like that color. And beige.
16. What song could you live without ever hearing again?
That Kelly Clarkson song featuring Raffi and Stevie Nicks. I mean what were they thinking?
17. Metallica or Madonna?
18. What’s your most hated vice?
I pretty much just skim over it. The Do’s and don’ts are fun.
19. Who is the most tragic figure in history?
20. What are the top three live shows you’ve seen in your life?
NKOTB. Do i have to say that three times?
When I think of the Hamptons images of wealthy, beautiful New Yorkers sipping champagne at clam bakes breezes through my mind. Crisp whites, seersucker and Top-Siders should be donned for cocktails after tennis matches and strolls along the beach. What do you pack though when a music festival is thrown in the mix?
In prepping for the upcoming MTK Music Festival Aug 13th & 14th in East Hampton, NY, I found myself stressing over the daunting task of packing, wanting my wardrobe to be a little more inspired then just taking cues from Blair Waldorf (even though I would gladly re-watch those Hamptons episodes of Gossip Girl). Since this music festival boast the latest and greatest in music and fashion, I thought I would take inspiration from the bands themselves.
Here are five looks inspired by some of the bands performing at the MTK Music Festival that can be worn through late summer anywhere from a weekend festival to your favourite watering hole.
Tribal/Safari style inspired by the music of Vampire Weekend:
While Vampire Weekend’s personal style may put Ralph Lauren’s American Prep to shame, their music is filled with African inspired beats and riddled with the marimba so why not have fun with two trends that go hand in hand and mix some safari with tribal prints and add some warm accents and leopard prints.
Haute Americana style inspired by the music of Dawes:
The 70s Americana look has become so popular because along with looking fantastic its so simple to assemble. Rather than just tossing on a cowboy hat to go along with Dawes‘ Americana music and calling it a day, try a pair of bell bottoms, a crochet or macramé top or the ever so popular denim shirt.
Punk style inspired by the music of Nicos Gun:
Nicos Gun themselves have said they strive to be a punk-rock Michael Jackson, but most of the fashion from the 80s should be left in that decade. Punk isn’t too hard, just don’t come out looking like a Sex Pistol. Try mixing edgier pieces like a studded vest or cropped shirt with embellished detail with a pair of combat boots and jean cutoffs.
Nouveau Navajo style inspired by the music of Tame Impala:
Tame Impala are a psychedelic rock band reminiscent of the Beatles circa 1965. While flower power and peace signs are definitely dated, the bulk of the look is dead-on trend. Keep the fringe and mix it in with lots of bright colours, bold Navajo prints and feather accented jewelry.
New Romantic style inspired by the music of Ellie Goulding:
Ellie Goulding is young and gorgeous and her pop music is sugary sweet so why not borrow from the new romantic trend, one the artist tends to follow herself. Soft pastels, sweet florals mixed with lace and sheer fabrics will give you a look that is delicate and feminine.
Words by Kate Masewich
The summer is the time for many things: music festivals, food festivals, parades – but one thing people in this fine city of ours love most is Beer. The 17th Annual Toronto’s Festival of Beer is proudly announcing its newest event, the Queer Beer Festival happening on Thursday August 4th. The first of its kind in North America, it celebrates all things beer and queer.
Much like the Annual Beer Festival, it will feature all the great beers companies we’ve come to know & love and smaller craft brew (there will be over 200 brands featured at the festival) – however the biggest draw for the festival, besides the beer is Swedish band Ace of Base playing Bandshell Park on the grounds of the Exhibition Place. The day’s events will also be hosted by comedian Maggie Cassella, plus there will be additional performances by Hunter Valentine as well as Lucas (The Cliks).
The Queer Beer Festival is proud to have The 519 Community Centre as its official charity and will donate $5.19 from every advance ticket sold before Pride weekend toThe 519.
Tickets on sale now at queerbeerfestival.ca, Priape and The 519:
Regular Tickets are $38.50, plus applicable taxes/service fees
(includes sample cup / 5 sample tokens)
Hoptimized Tickets are $48.50, plus applicable taxes/service fees
(available online only, includes early entry / sample cup / 10 tokens)
Girl Guided Beer Tour Tickets are $48.50, plus applicable taxes/service fees
(available online only, includes guided tour, sample cups, 10 tokens)
On one of the hottest day in the summer, what perfect way to cool down than with a glass of wine. Luckily, we here at the Pink Mafia team were invited to Bordeaux After Work Parties at Marben Restaurant on Tuesday July 19, 2011. This party was the second of four in a series and seemed to have quite the crowd, as I arrived.
I don’t claim to be a wine expert, however I do try to pretend. Thankfully upon entry, I was handed a handy pocket-sized guide to the Bordeaux collections of reds, whites and roses. It walked me through my experience of tasting the Bordeaux collection and getting to experience it with the excellent Oysters that the Marben staff were providing. Perfect pairing, if I do say so myself.
With the music in the restaurant pumping, the crowd intermingling and everyone chatting about the excellent food and wine, who wouldn’t want to spend their off the clock hours like this? What helped out was Bordeaux had a Sommelier walking around to answer any questions one might have regarding the wines, for example: taste, region, development and pairing.
I definitely cannot wait to attend the next Bordeaux After Work Parties – which take place at different restaurants throughout the city. Stay tuned to their Twitter and website for more details for the next event.
Photos by Lori Steeves
If you’re a fan of music chances are you’ve been to a big North American summer music festival, or at the very least have those festivals on your radar. I’ve been to my fair share and while the Coachellas, Bonnaroos and Lollas have their draws (big names, big crowds etc…) they seem to be getting a little bit stale.
If you’ve hung around me long enough this summer you’ve probably heard me gush ad-nausea about my new favourite music festival: Music To Know Music Festival, or simply MTK. The thing that makes this particular festival stand out over its predecessors is the promise of more than just music merchandize and/or street food vendors. In its inaugural year, the East Hampton, NY festival not only boasts a hefty dose of ‘music to know’ but also dozens of leading trends to know in fashion, lifestyle, food and beverages, all offered throughout the festival grounds via pop-up boutiques.
The festival will be held August 13-14th so there is still time to grab your weekend passes and head to the Hamptons for a weekend getaway. The beauty of this festival is that you can customize your experience and find affordable accommodations at any price point. You could rent a swanky beach home, camp on the beach or hoof it back to NYC via a late-night train specifically for festival goers.
Still not sold? Over the course of the weekend while rubbing elbows with elite tastemakers and trendsetters, you’ll hear music from festival headliners Vampire Weekend and Bright Eyes along with Cold War Kids, Ellie Goulding, Tame Impala, Chromeo and Dawes AND I haven’t even gone through the whole line up.
Have look at the festival map while you mull it over and keep your eyes peeled for our Style Survival Guide and a very special Tour Diary by one of the festival bands.
Words by Kate Masewich